For decades, the central Athenian neighborhood of Exarchia has been known as a hub for political activists, anarchists, migrants and other “counterculture” groups in Greece’s capital.
The area has a reputation for frequent riots and clashes with police, but in recent months such incidents have become more common as locals try to resist gentrification plans by Greece’s New Democracy government administration under Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
The new plan will take an estimated five years to complete and includes repairing street lights, removing graffiti and constructing a metro station, among other changes. Estimated costs are 10 million euros (approximately $11 million USD).
The government also plans to take control of abandoned buildings occupied by squatters and anarchists who reportedly anticipating widespread police raids that could escalate into neighborhood-wide clashes.
Police have already conducted raids in Exarchia to round up drug dealers and undocumented migrants. The raids have received praise from New Democracy supporters while prompting criticism from groups such as the Human Rights Watch and anti-government parties who fear further state crackdowns.
But Exarchia’s residents are not remaining silent, and in a recent short documentary locals spoke to a team from Redfish Media about how they are planning organized resistance to their government’s gentrification plans.
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